TANGIBLE INVESTMENTS - Los Angeles - by James O'Dell - Precious metals prices were mixed on Wednesday, with Gold slipping to $1,289.50 an ounce in thin summer trade while Silver edged higher to $19.48 an ounce as the euro softened and the dollar hit highs not seen since September, both weighing on the metals. The markets focus will now turn to the Wednesday release of the July minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech, titled “Labor Markets,” on Friday at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium in Wyoming.
The overall topic of the Symposium is “Re-evaluating Labor Market Dynamics.” This symposium “ is unlikely to resemble August 2012’s, when Chairman (Ben) Bernanke dropped strong hints about a third round of quantitative easing, launched the following month,” said Thomas Costerg, of Standard Chartered. Yellen's speech titled “Labor Markets,” is scheduled for Friday, and will convey the Fed Chief's views on the struggling labor market.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of 15 U.S. lawmakers would rather the Fed direct more of its energy toward restricting its crisis lending programs for big banks, charging that the Fed has not done enough on its own to adequately limit its crisis lending powers. During the 2007-2009 financial crisis the loans handed out to troubled banks amounted to nothing more than bailouts for the same Wall Street firms that caused the meltdown.
The Dodd-Frank law, passed by Congress in 2010 was designed to reel in the same Wall Street excesses that led to the crisis. "The purpose of ... Dodd-Frank was to ensure that banks that would be insolvent absent emergency lending assistance from the board would be put into bankruptcy," said the group in a letter to Fed Chair Yellen, adding that "If the board's emergency lending authority is left unchecked, it can once again be used to provide massive bailouts to large financial institutions without any congressional action."
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